My Speech To Cerritos Community College

Last Thursday, I got the privilege of speaking to the court reporting students at Cerritos Community College.  This is my second visit to this class.  You can read all about my first appearance there when I gave my How To Get Out Of Court Reporting School With Your Sanity Intact speech back in December of 2007.

This time I spoke about The Simple Way To Become A Court Reporter!  (A Two-Step Plan).  And judging from the speaker evaluations that I got back, this new speech is a winner.  Most people put that they strongly agree (versus strongly disagree) for most of the check boxes like:

  • Todd provided content that was useful
  • Todd has relevant knowledge and expertise
  • I would like to see Todd speak again in the future
  • Todd had excellent hygiene *
  • Todd should stop presenting and stick to his day job *

The * bullet points above were snuck in there just to keep people on their toes.  You can always tell if people are just ticking off the nice responses rather than actually reading the content of the question.  And, er, yes... I did get good marks for hygiene! 

As I write on my evaluation sheets, By completing my Speaker Evaluation Form you are not only helping me out with your thoughtful critiques but saving the court reporting world from boring speeches!  :)  So thanks Cerritos court reporting students!

I got some very nice comments from the students.  Including these highlights:

  • Thank you, Todd.  Very informative & motivational.  I like the fact that you handed out worksheets which provide us with something to take home with us.
  • This one was practically perfect!  Thank you for your real life experiences that you shared.  Really awesome!!!
  • Todd is super fun!  Thank you.  You are such an inspiration!!
  • It was awesome and engaging.  He couldn't have done it any better!
  • I wish you'd been doing this when I had begun my student career.

Wow!  Those comments are some of the best I've ever gotten.  Still, in an effort to press forward and get better at what I do, it's the less than stellar comments that I tend to focus on.  It's  constructive critiques like the following from which I really learn:

  • (You should speak about) more experiences from the field
  • Next time you come, come a little bit more relaxed.  ie... clothes.
  • Maybe a little slower speaking
  • (You should prepare) a lengthier presentation

The Problem With Conflicting Advice
The problem with conflicting advice is that -- it conflicts.  Was I good or did I seem uptight? (Secretly, maybe both!)  Should I loose the tie or nix the tie?  Maybe just the jacket.  If I speak slower then my presentation would be lengthier.  Though more boring.  Should I focus more on the student experience or experiences from the field?  What to do, what to do?

A Gift For Diana
At the beginning of the meeting, they invited one of their theory students, Diana Michel, to sing a song.  After the beautiful rendition of a -- Patsy Cline song, I think -- the court reporting club presented her with some much needed school supplies.  Diana is blind but she has made great progress in the program.  Due to some hardship qualifying for student loans, the other students and staff pulled together donations including a 200 SRT steno machine as well as student software from Stenograph.

Every time I come to Cerritos, they consistently impress me with their school spirit and warmth.  This time was no exception as there was not a dry eye in the house during Diana's song and then the presentation of her machine and software.

What a great school!  I can't wait to go back -- looks like I've been invited to speak to the night crew next!  Until then, keep up the hard work and excellent motivation!!


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Todd Olivas

Todd Olivas is a court reporter and entrepreneur.
He founded TO&A in 2003.

  Comment by Micki England | Thursday, May 15, 2008

Greetings Todd,

Iíve heard many positive comments from our students regarding your presentation on May 8, 2008. You are to be commended for your selfless desire to inspire and educate court reporting students. Your lighthearted approach and live demonstration will most definitely guide our students in the right direction throughout their career.

You`re right, there is no free lunch!

Mere words cannot begin express our appreciation for your contribution to Cerritos College court reporting students and their success in this phenomenal profession!

Kindest Regards,

Micki England
Court Reporting Club Advisor

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